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hotbuttertrucker

Cineware issues and questions

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I've been waiting for this day like many of you since it was announced. Got my brand spanking new version loaded up and updates applied. I have been running R14 for a bit now, but made sure that it was updated too.

 

The big moment... Lets go-go-gadget Cineware!

This is cool, basic scene in AE. A ball on a disc, basic materials applied, object buffers setup with tags and in render settings. Checking out the software render, now the full render, dynamite!

 

Now lets mess with this thing...Command E (which we've been told, should take us to our cooler R14) C4d Lite opens. Hmm damn. I dont want to use this diet version, I want my full version to open. Ok is there a setting, preference? Couldn't find anything. What's this TCP setting? that seems weird. Ok I can work around this for now.

 

Next test.. lets go through this and see what it can really do. "Extract" Cool lights and multiple camera, no sweat. AE cameras, cool. Wouldn't it be cool if we could move the camera like in c4d (ok be realistic). How to get nulls to come in, possible or do it the old way?

 

Now the things that will make it worth all the hype. Multipass, object buffers. ...Hey why are these things grayed out. What am I missing? More poking around. Nothin... I've been though some of the introductory tutorials but I didn't hear anything particular about the setups.

 

So has anyone have any suggestions? Or is there some button I'm missing? I know I am there are some specifics details we could hash out. But really I just tried to make a basic setup and pass it though. I also tried the whole thing again on my laptop.

 

Thanks,

 

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Make sure to install R14 from DVD and update to 14.042. Otherwise the connection will not work and AE CC will not find your installed CINEMA 4D.

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I have not tested it from creating a file in AE to C4D but imported a C4D file into AE and it worked great. Multipass worked fine and all, not sure why yours is greyed out but hopefully the update will fix. Please let us know if you figure out what it is.

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Main thing I am finding is that what you get in c4d is not exactly replicated in AE in terms of reflections etc, but that's ok especially with the ability to set up the instances of your c4d file in cineware using multipass, which is nice. The main thing I am finding is that performance is slow, especially when compared to element, which i know works totally differently. Main machine is mac pro 2012 with a geforce 660 and 28mb ram, so what would people recommend i could do to improve performance, as the workflow is potentially intriguiging for certain workflows.

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@CB I think the issue you're having is that this is the first (public) iteration of the renderer. C4d isn't that fast, and AE is slow, so I wouldn't expect miracles for at least another couple of major updates. Comparing to Element seems a tad unfair since it's far and away more limited than Cineware.

 

Although... that doesn't really answer your question, does it?

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The reinstall worked for the command+E link, but still no luck on the multi-pass.

Make sure that your render option in Cineware is set to either Standard Final or Standard Draft. The default is Software when you drag a .c4d project into a comp and will have the multi-pass options turned off.

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@CB I think the issue you're having is that this is the first (public) iteration of the renderer. C4d isn't that fast, and AE is slow, so I wouldn't expect miracles for at least another couple of major updates. Comparing to Element seems a tad unfair since it's far and away more limited than Cineware.

 

Although... that doesn't really answer your question, does it?

Well no, but as i used it more for some look dev later in the day, it's a very different beast than element which is great and genuinely more powerful for a wider range of work. I think c4d r15 is bound to help with speed, as the slow point seems to be on the c4d side AE is happy enough, it was just do i chuck more ram at the pro or upgrade the gfx?

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Seems ok here...but am I missing something on how to specify which object buffer is used? It seems to be only letting me use #1...

i managed with three, they just appeared as 'object buffer' three times in the list will see if i rename them if that carries through :fingers crossed:

 

Yup if you change the name of the object buffer in c4d (i am using studio) cineware picks it up when you define multi pass woo and if you will hoo!

Edited by creativebloke

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I honestly had really high hopes for Cineware, but now that it's here it just doesn't seem all that useful. I've been using Cineware with C4D Studio for a few days now and here's my basic pro/con list:

 

PRO:

-You don't have to worry about managing tons of image sequence exports. Everything is embedded in your C4D project file.

-You don't have to set up many of your multi-passes for compositing; Cineware does it for you.

-You can use AE cameras to animate through your C4D scene.

 

CON:

-Rendering in Cineware takes just as long as rendering out of C4D. It takes even longer when you add effects. So why not just render out your image sequence first and then add effects? it's much less taxing on your system to read a pre-rendered image sequence than having to render every frame in realtime. The way I see it, most things take longer when using Cineware compared to the traditional workflow.

-No support for importing OBJs and re-lighting in AE (similar to Element 3D functionality).

-No DOF when using AE cameras with Cineware. You still have to rely on depth passes, so integrating 2D elements in AE with your C4D scene still requires a lot of work.

-Cineware can't read from C4D's content libraries; you have to remember to 'Save project with Assets' whenever you're using them in your project.

-The AE camera doesn't have all the options you'd see in C4D, so that added functionally is a moot point for me personally.

 

Maybe I'm missing something, but at this point I kind of regret upgrading to After Effects CC.

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I honestly had really high hopes for Cineware, but now that it's here it just doesn't seem all that useful. I've been using Cineware with C4D Studio for a few days now and here's my basic pro/con list:

 

PRO:

 

CON:

 

Maybe I'm missing something, but at this point I kind of regret upgrading to After Effects CC.

I'm with you on this. Cineware is for chumps.

 

I have studio R14, but the free light version is a huge value otherwise...with some caveats.

 

Until they can build it out further it's useless for anyone who works fast (on mid to heavy scenes). It's going to slow down your overall workflow in AE. You might as well just use Ray-traced3D render mode in AE to do any basic 3D shaded stuff, which even then, I still just use C4D. Maybe just be decisive about your C4D work? Never stopped anyone in the past.

 

I'm going to get shit on for shitting on this update. But I'm not impressed with cineware (yet).

 

IMHO, you're better off just rendering out of C4D like before, then iterating those img sequences and letting AE auto update those and the multipasses.

 

I'm still open to hearing how I could be wrong. I'm thinking maybe it works best in the final stages of a project for fine tuning or maybe grabbing a 3D camera real quick... But not early in the workflow. Even then, I'm underwhelmed so far.

 

Someone please disagree and enlighten us otherwise.

Edited by BoArlander

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I am not even going to bother with Cineware until a studio forces me to use it. I wish it worked with Photoshop. Seems like it would be rad for making boards though.

 

I'm with you on this. Cineware is for chumps.

 

Until they can build it out further it's useless for anyone who works fast. It's going to slow down your overall workflow in AE. You might as well just use Ray-traced3D render mode in AE to do any basic 3D shaded stuff, which even then, I still just use C4D. Maybe just be decisive about your C4D work? Never stopped anyone in the past.

 

I'm going to get shit on for shitting on this update. But I'm not impressed with cineware (yet).

 

IMHO, you're better off just rendering out of C4D like before, then iterating those img sequences and letting AE auto update those and the multipasses.

 

I'm still open to hearing how I could be wrong. I'm thinking maybe it works best in the final stages of a project for fine tuning or maybe grabbing a 3D camera real quick... But not early in the workflow. Even then, I'm underwhelmed so far.

 

Someone please disagree and enlighten us otherwise.

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I'm going to try to be less cynical for a second. I could grow to find a way to adopt the workflow by turning it on and off and using with ruff C4D renders for the initial to mid phase of building out a comp. Adobe is making steps in the right direction, so I don't want to bash this first release completely. +1 Adobe.

 

Dopeness:

1) Definitely useful for final outputs, when camera is reasonably locked.

2) Multipass dump is the shit. Feels literally like taking a wicked shit.

3) You can blow out the camera and re-extract a new camera with a button. Has baked keyframes but pretty nice.

4) I guess you can manipulate the cinema camera somewhat in AE. But seems way to wonky for me. Maybe it's just me?

 

 

Bummers:

1) I wish to control the actual C4D camera and lights within Cineware. Otherwise I'm still using C4D anyway.

2) If it's not going to render a quick img sequence in C4D, it aint gonna be smooth in the cineware viewport.

3) #1+2 = So what's the point until very final stages of finishing?

4) Especially #2 reminds me of the useless AE integration into Pr. You might as well render it out of AE then import into Pr.

 

5) Wondering if there is a patent conflict vs VC Element that keeps this integration still separated.

Edited by BoArlander

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1) Definitely useful for final outputs, when camera is reasonably locked.

2) Multipass dump is the shit. Feels literally like taking a wicked shit.

 

Neither of the two do you much good when you use specific plug-ins, your scenes are heavy (as in 20 million polygon CAD sceens) or you send stuff to the render farm to get it rendered at all in time...

 

5) Wondering if there is a patent conflict vs VC Element that keeps this integration still separated.

 

 

I don't think E3D has anything that could be patented that you couldn't find in any reasonably sophisticated game or 3D programs. The way I always picture it is that Maxon pretty much went ahead and developed it alone. Elsewhere at some staff meeting in Seattle a rather pale-faced gang of developers sat once more in a meeting, more than slightly flabbergasted for getting tons of flak for their shitty 3D raytracer and the decision somehow was made to give Maxon a call. As S.Forde admitted in one of his interviews they just didn't know how to do it right or as I used to say: Adobe have no clue about 3D. And then they got everybody & their mum on the Beta, both at the AE end and C4D and things went their way. Just seems that in all the Cineware madness people seem to have been so carried away and forgotten to test other stuff or stop for a minute to reconsider some things. Forums are full with the most ridiculous bugs that I thought were fixed in CS5 for good... Well, whatever, Cineware is definitely is a start, but it's nothing to write home about. The atrocious performance makes it mostly irrelevant even for simple tasks and unless Cinema 4D gets a proper preview renderer that Cineware could then inherit, that won't change. Likewise it suffers the same limitations like any other 3D-ish effect in AE and unless both teams do their homework, it will forever be "just another 3D plug-in". Won't probably be before CS8 or CS9 before I go anywhere near it again otehr than trying to unriddle errors other users experience...

 

Mylenium

Edited by Mylenium

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Wait.

 

Wait.

 

Let me sit down.

 

If you change the name of the object buffer in Cinema, it'll change the name in AE?

 

Did I hear that correctly?

 

Oh dear, my world is crashing down.

 

Did it hurt as it landed on your head sorry about that. yup object buffer renaming works like a treat

 

OK my take on cineware is this, it is genuinely useful if your a pro, probably less so if your a newb weirdly as you will get stuck in a world of molasses as you switch everything to final render.

 

Take today I will be using cineware to help realise a set of stills for a storyboard, because due to the multipass setup and way object buffers work, i can set up a look in AE which I know will work fine. When it comes to animating, that will be done in c4d as normal back in the old days, then use AE to output the final render, because I know what my look will be, and the AE renderer will do the render at the end, and so is useful for scheduling a job. I tested an animation last week, cineware was markedly faster than a c4d render output, and that was with AE filters applied.

 

In Cinema I can output GL renders as and when is required.

 

There are a couple of cineware proxy scripts coming out, but they only seem to add more confusion and still include an extra render somewhere in the process. If you know your workflow and your job, cineware is very handy. If I needed todo a 3D job in AE in a rush, well there's element3D or AE's onw RT solution (oh wait i said a rush didn't it I). Its still early days and if you use it correctly you can produce results potentially quicker in cineware than other options....but cineware is and was only ever another option - annoyingly it still requires us to do the work.....and yes agreed performance is myeh, but I will take a decent solid workflow with iffy speed than speed with iffy workflow as it will only ever get faster.

 

Also this is with C4d r14, whose not expecting R15 to be optimised for Cineware, as in the past week god knows how much Maxon has just increased it's install base!

Edited by creativebloke

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OK my take on cineware is this, it is genuinely useful if your a pro, probably less so if your a newb weirdly as you will get stuck in a world of molasses as you switch everything to final render.

 

 

Sure, It could be argued both ways. It seems good for is the multipass stack and dial some lights to a degree. But if you know your workflow you can nail that in C4D->PSD anyway. I assemble and board in PSD 85-90% of the time with only brief trips to AE anyway. But for others who board in AE 100%, maybe that's for you. That works for some, but is often a slow process alone that assembling the beauty of the frame in psd.

 

Ideally seems useful to set up the multi pass stack to dial lights and speculars. In essence using cineware passes themselves as temp proxies. Then replacing with local or farm renders.

 

I don't usually do much multipass in the boarding phase anyway other than some obj buffers and from time to time bits of multipass. I usually do the more extensive multipasses later once the concept is sold, and at final render stage.

 

And so for boards, I usually just paint in photoshop any specular or AO that needs to be dodged or burned. Or hand painted glows, etc. My world moreoften requires me to get the boards out as soon as possible. Then worry about production later. In many cases those handpainted glows from psd get used in the final.

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Ideally seems useful to set up the multi pass stack to dial lights and speculars. In essence using cineware passes themselves as temp proxies. Then replacing with local or farm renders.

Actually your comment reveals the single most critical point where Cineware falls flat on its face - instead of tweaking the 3D scene in the context of the later compositing, we still massgae the passes. Point in case: Instead of massaging the Gamma of specular highlights or what have you, we should be natively adapting the light properties to get it as close to the look we want and then only do the final polish with effects. Rather than being just another renderer, Cineware should be an alternate front-end to some of C4D's stuff...

 

Mylenium

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Actually your comment reveals the single most critical point where Cineware falls flat on its face - instead of tweaking the 3D scene in the context of the later compositing, we still massgae the passes. Point in case: Instead of massaging the Gamma of specular highlights or what have you, we should be natively adapting the light properties to get it as close to the look we want and then only do the final polish with effects. Rather than being just another renderer, Cineware should be an alternate front-end to some of C4D's stuff...

 

Mylenium

HI chance i;m being thick, but you are able todo that with cineware in AE, or are you referring to within C4D? Agree about cineware being an alternate, as there is a subtle but noticeable difference in the look between a c4d standard renderer and chinaware in AE

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I was more thinking like AE's lights providing the same attributes as C4Ds (could be totally inert property streams in AE and do nothing to AE's lights) and Cineware taking care to "merge" that data back to the C4D scene like you can with camera transforms now. That's where things begin to get useful. And as I wrote in a blog on my page, it would also be useful if we rendered a C4D scene once, but all buffers are retained in their full glory and we can tune the materials and all that. Kinda Katana/ Bakery Relight more than anything else. And of course we still need that friggin interactive renderer in C4D and thus in Cineware. Currently it's simply a jarring experience to even have to wait several seconds for a render of some extruded text.... Call me a spoiled brat, but I've been using FPrime in Lightwave since it came out and just love modo's preview, so using C4D still feels like my timemachine took me 20 years back and now AE and Cineware adds another level of complication without actually resolving the deeper underlying issues (preview renderer in C4D, awful 3D navigation in AE)... Really not sure what to think of it. It's one of those "I'd rather have waited another two versions" things - half-cooked as it is now, it's not making my day from either end. To summarize my hubub: Having such a conenction should be about producing better 3D data in teh first place, not trying to mangle the pixels that are the result of the 3D operation.

 

Mylenium

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I was more thinking like AE's lights providing the same attributes as C4Ds (could be totally inert property streams in AE and do nothing to AE's lights) and Cineware taking care to "merge" that data back to the C4D scene like you can with camera transforms now. That's where things begin to get useful. And as I wrote in a blog on my page, it would also be useful if we rendered a C4D scene once, but all buffers are retained in their full glory and we can tune the materials and all that. Kinda Katana/ Bakery Relight more than anything else. And of course we still need that friggin interactive renderer in C4D and thus in Cineware. Currently it's simply a jarring experience to even have to wait several seconds for a render of some extruded text.... Call me a spoiled brat, but I've been using FPrime in Lightwave since it came out and just love modo's preview, so using C4D still feels like my timemachine took me 20 years back and now AE and Cineware adds another level of complication without actually resolving the deeper underlying issues (preview renderer in C4D, awful 3D navigation in AE)... Really not sure what to think of it. It's one of those "I'd rather have waited another two versions" things - half-cooked as it is now, it's not making my day from either end. To summarize my hubub: Having such a conenction should be about producing better 3D data in teh first place, not trying to mangle the pixels that are the result of the 3D operation.

 

Mylenium

That's all valid criticism, and it is amazing how long in the tooth cinema suddenly feels compared to the competition in a lot of day to day tasks. I am finding cineware useful, but I have a specific not massively complex use for it right now, and look forward to what if any improvements are brought in with r15.....

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Okay so a question and maybe I missing something here... How do we import the rendered multipass files with this new cineware in a stacked workflow like the old plugin would do? For a heavy job I don't want to work with the cineware version I want the renders I did to show up in ae. When I hit extract it only gives me the camera data and lights/obj buffers. Then I have to manually import all the renders put them in the right order etc. There has to be a way to just use the old way right?

 

I looked for an updated plugin for AE cc on the maxon site with no luck. So in the mean time I'm using the one for cs6 which works but i get 3 error messages every time I launch AE. So just curious if I'm missing some trick with AE cc to basically do what the old plugin would do import all the scene data and renders? Any one having this issue too?

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